Former Virginia Governor and U.S. Senator George Allen tells Newsmax he is running for the Senate again because “I want to be the deciding vote to repeal Obamacare.”
He also declares that he is “aggravated and frustrated” about what is going on in Washington and would introduce a bill to withhold pay from legislators who don’t pass appropriations bills on time.
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Allen served as the Republican governor in Virginia from 1994 to 1998 and was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2000. He lost his re-election bid in 2006 to Democrat Jim Webb, but Webb is not seeking re-election this year and Allen is now running for the GOP nomination for his seat. His expected Democratic opponent is former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine.
In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington on Friday, Allen says of his Senate campaign “we’re putting together a great grassroots insurgency.”
He reports that he is receiving a great deal of support from veterans, small businessmen, gun owners, and the clergy, “and I’m hearing from a lot of people who care about their children’s ability to get a job after they graduate from college.
“I also hear from a lot of folks concerned about these high gas prices. Folks are paying from $25 to $30 more every time they fill up now compared to when President Obama came into office.
“The other thing that has a lot of people riled up, and there were always so many against it, is Obamacare. Seniors were worried about access to physicians. Those who are healthcare providers were concerned with it. Small businesses were very concerned. It’s a real impediment to hiring. None of them wanted to get over 50 employees because that would mean all these mandates kick in.
“And then this latest aspect of it, the federal government dictating arrogantly that certain religious groups are going to have to pay for and provide services that are so contrary to their deeply held religious beliefs, is just one more reason why I want to be the deciding vote to repeal Obamacare.
“My opponent Tim Kaine said Obamacare is a great achievement.”
Allen says he would make energy a major issue in his Senate efforts if he is elected in November.
“We in Virginia would like to be able to produce natural gas and oil off our coast,” he tells Newsmax.
“The Obama administration has been saying no consistently to us. On day one I would introduce a bill that would allow Virginia to explore for oil and natural gas off our coast.
“We’ve also got to stop the EPA from imposing these cap-and-trade energy tax schemes. It’s a direct attack on coal and American resources which would cause skyrocketing electricity costs, enormous job losses, and would make this country so less competitive compared to other countries. It’s in effect economic unilateral disarmament.
“I’d also like to see them turn around the decision on the Keystone pipeline” bringing Canadian oil to the United States, which the Obama administration has declined to approve. “If we’re going to import oil from a country, Canada is a good, reliable ally and neighbor, and that would mean 20,000 jobs and make us less vulnerable to what may be going on in Venezuela or the Middle East. My opponent is against the Keystone pipeline.”
Allen adds that there is no “single silver bullet” to the energy problem, and we instead need “silver buckshot — diverse approaches to make sure we have affordable and reliable American energy.”
Asked how he would deal with the jobs bills that have been stalling in the Senate, Allen responds: “If I make it to the Senate it means the common sense conservatives are now a majority in the Senate rather than Harry Reid.
“This is an important election in the course of American history in determining the trajectory of our country. Right now the House passes a lot of good ideas and” but they die in Senate. “They haven’t even passed a budget in over a thousand days. I’m as aggravated and frustrated about what’s going on in Washington as anybody else. That’s why I’m running.
“And every single vote matters in the Senate. They passed Obamacare by one vote, passed the stimulus by one vote.”
Allen says that on his first day in the Senate, in addition to offshore energy legislation, he would introduce a balanced budget amendment and legislation requiring lawmakers to pass appropriations bills in a timely manner. “If they don’t get appropriations bills done on time, which is their job, what they’re paid to do, you withhold their pay. So as far as I’m concerned none of them would be getting paid right now.
“Those are the kinds of structural changes that can be made if we have a majority and that’s what I aim to do.”
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